Russia and Eurasia

Central Asia: Pentagon Plans for Deployment of Special Forces to States outside Afghanistan

0 5

Deirdre Tynan

 

The US military is preparing for a worst-case scenario in Central Asia. The Pentagon is presently developing plans covering the potential deployment of elite Special Forces to Central Asian states other than Afghanistan.

In each of the Central Asian states, US Special Forces 3rd Group are preparing to conduct “foreign internal defense” missions — military shorthand for counter-insurgency operations fought by host nation troops with training and other forms of assistance provided by Washington.

The 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, currently consists of four operational battalions. At least one battalion will be deployed to Central Asia on every rotation of troops serving in Afghanistan.

According to a military handbook, Joint Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Foreign Internal Defense (FID), published under the auspices of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2004, “the United States will normally consider FID support only if the following three conditions exist: the existing or threatened internal disorder threatens US national strategic goals; the threatened nation is capable of effectively using US assistance; and the threatened nation requests US assistance.”

It adds: “assistance will normally focus on civil-military operations (primarily, the provision of services to the local populace), psychological operations, communications and intelligence sharing, and logistic support.”

Prior to 2001, the 3rd Group traditionally was oriented toward sub-Saharan Africa. The struggle against international terrorism prompted the unit to refocus its attention on Central Asian affairs. “This adjustment in regional orientation just reflects the realities of today’s environment and requirements. The group has been conducting operations in Afghanistan since 2002,” LCDR W. Fred Kuebler, a media relations officer with US Special Operations Command, told EurasiaNet.

“The 3rd Special Forces Group will continue to conduct operations in Afghanistan and be prepared to support training with militaries in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan when required by the commander of US Central Command [Gen. David Petraeus],” Kuebler added.

He said 3rd Group would continue to take part in “traditional Special Forces missions,” which he said included “direct action,” “special reconnaissance,” “foreign internal defense,” and “security force assistance.”

The 3rd Group’s objective would be “to assist partner nations improve their ability to provide for their own security in Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan,” Kuebler said. “[They] will begin focusing their training in language, customs, and culture to reflect this adjustment in regional orientation.”

According to an August 21 directive from US Special Operations Command, the realignment of the Special Forces was undertaken “in order to provide better and more consistent support to the geographic combatant commanders, stabilize Special Forces group headquarters deployments and spread the operational workload more evenly across the joint special operations community.” The directive is scheduled to be fully implemented by February 1, 2010.

The prospect of US forces carrying out foreign internal defense operations in Central Asia is generating mixed views. Some analysts described it as routine, while others call it risky. All agree, however, that Russia will be agitated by any deployment.

“I think this is a normal practice, because there were cases when Turkish military partners used to come to train our military, and Special Forces as well,” said Mars Sariev, a Kyrgyz political analyst. “The only thing, I think, is that Russia won’t like it so much.”

 

Editor’s Note: Deirdre Tynan is a freelance journalist who specializes in Central Asian affairs.

 

Copyright (c) 2003 Open Society Institute. Reprinted with the permission of the Open Society Institute, 400 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019 USA, wwwEurasiaNet.org. or www.soros.org.

About the author / 

CESRAN Int.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

CESRAN Blog

  • 24th Issue is Online Now!

    Vol. VI | No. III – July-August-September 2020 To Download the Magazine Click Here… CONTENTS 05-14….. World News by Ebru Birinci 17-24….. Preparedness for an Uncertain Future “The Only Thing We Have to Fear is Fear Itself” by Professor Mark Meirowitz 25-39….. EU LAW vs UK LAW The Primacy of EU Law over National Law:…

  • IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual!

    Dear Friends and Colleagues, IEPAS2020 is Going Virtual! Due to the COVID19 pandemic, we are holding our entire conference virtually by streaming all of the live sessions. You may participate in all of our virtual networking events. In case of missing a session, you may get full access to the replays of every session since all…

  • The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now…

    The 13th issue of JCTS (Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security) is out now… Vol. 8 | No. 1 | 2020 Click here to Download the Entire Issue   TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor’s Note By David Curran Introduction By Nergis Canefe Research Articles Statelessness as a Permanent State: Challenges to the Human Security Paradigm By…

  • The 19th Issue of The Rest: Journal of Politics and Development is Out Now!

    The 19th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles Turkish AK Parti’s Posture towards the 2003 War in Iraq: The Impact of Religion amid Security Concerns By Alberto Gasparetto Nigeria and the Great Powers: The Impacts of the Boko Haram Terrorism on…

  • CESRAN International Named again amongst the Top Think Tanks in the World

    CESRAN International is pleased to announce that it has been named again amongst the world’s best think tanks. The 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index ranked CESRAN International 141st among the World’s “Top Think Tanks in Western Europe” 75th among the World’s “Top Environment Policy Think Tanks” 153rd among the World’s “Top Foreign Policy…

  • THE 18TH ISSUE OF THE REST: JOURNAL OF POLITICS AND DEVELOPMENT IS OUT NOW.

    The 18th issue of the rest: journal of politics and development is out now. Download the issue here… TABLE OF CONTENTS Research Articles The Foreign Policy Decision Making Approaches and Their Applications Case Study: Bush, Obama and Trump’s Decision Making towards Afghanistan and the Region By Sharifullah Dorani Evaluating the Explanatory Power of Social Identity Theory,…

Newsletter